Winter Springs boy dedicates mile run to honor officer Jason Raynor

Zechariah Cartledge is rooted in supporting families of first responders killed in the line of duty

WINTER SPRINGS, Fla.Zechariah Cartledge, 12, ran one mile on Thursday evening in honor of fallen Daytona Beach police officer Jason Raynor. Raynor died Tuesday evening after spending two months in the hospital after suffering a gunshot to the head responding to a call.

“My prayers are with you during this hard time, such an incredible man just 26-years-old when he passed,” Cartledge said.

The Winter Springs boy has committed to run one mile in honor of fallen first responders for a foundation that honors firefighters and first responders.

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On a track field at Layer Elementary school in Winter Springs, Cartledge was joined by local law enforcement agencies.

“Every single run I try to make it just as important, but we love seeing support from our local agency out here,” Cartledge said.

Cartledge said his desire is rooted in supporting families of first responders killed in the line of duty.

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You can find 12-year old Zechariah Cartledge most nights at Layer Elementary School in Winter Springs where he runs a mile in tribute to fallen first responders. Lights flash and sirens ring out as Cartledge takes seven laps around the school’s bus loop, a personalized “thin blue line” American flag in hand.

“It’s definitely difficult on me especially when it’s local, I never want to run for local first responders from the Central Florida area.”

He said he hopes his run gives meaning to Raynor’s service and proves this is a tremendous loss to the law enforcement community.

“Even though we can’t bring back their fallen first responder we can keep their memory alive to show that he is still here in spirit and will forever be until we can see him again someday.”

This marks Cartledge’s 980th mile in honor of a fallen first responder.


About the Author:

Nicky Zizaza is an Emmy-nominated reporter who joined the News 6 nightside team in December 2018. She is originally from Rwanda and she started her journalism career in the nation's capital.